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Teachers: Vetting

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 22 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what plans his Department has to review the rules on the transferability of Criminal Records Bureau checks on teachers; (178787)

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the effects of the rules relating to the transferability of Criminal Records Bureau checks on the (a) ability of schools to recruit suitable teachers on temporary contracts and (b) cost of recruitment of such teachers.

The Department has no plans to review the rules on the transferability of Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosures. We are not aware of any adverse effects arising from the rules relating to transferability. We are aware of the fact that there are often extra costs relating to temporary teachers if their employers insist on new disclosures every time they change post or agency. This is, however, the decision of individual employers and not a result of our guidance to schools and teaching supply agencies. We issued our principal guidance document on safeguarding for schools, “Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education” in 2006. In that guidance we clearly set out that CRB Enhanced Disclosure certificates could be reused by teachers moving schools, local authorities or further education colleges, provided that all other recommended safer recruitment checks had been carried out satisfactorily and that the gap between their leaving their old employment and taking up their new post was not more than three months. The CRB has produced a comprehensive Portability Framework document which sets out the issues relating to the reuse of Disclosure certificates, which can obtained from the CRB website at

http://www.crb.gov.uk

The Department’s Educational Procurement Centre (EPC) is currently undertaking a Temporary Workers in Education project. it aims to provide schools (initially in London) with an accessible, quality-driven electronic one stop shop for their temporary support staff requirements. All participating agencies will hold the DCSF Recruitment Employment Confederation (REC) Quality Mark, thereby meeting the requirements of the “Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education” guidance. All London boroughs will be able to benefit from a safe and value- adding central service, reducing their own resourcing requirement in relation to temporary staff.